Picture this… you are feeling rather tired, bored and lazy. You definitely couldn’t muster the energy to mop the floor. BUT what if I told you I would pay you $100,000 if you got up and did it now? Or I said I would take your most prized possession from you forever if it wasn’t done in the next hour? You would find the energy to mop the floor, right?
Every one of us has motivation and untapped energy inside us; we just need to know how to turn it on.
When we are born, we have everything we need to be installed to be massively successful in everything we do. Over time however with negative life experiences, we sometimes lose how to turn it on until the moment we need it to just keep breathing. Your talking and thinking patterns affect your motivation. They can get you out of procrastination mode or cause it to grow.
The main reason we procrastinate is when our inner ‘values’ (what is important to you) conflict with what you are trying to achieve.
This is recognisable by words such as ‘can’t’, ‘don’t’, ‘must’, ‘should’, ‘have to’ or ‘need’.
The uses of such words are powerful sabotages to our motivation; they leave us feeling bad and can shift us into procrastination mode. When your core values feel threatened, your unconscious mind (the part of you that stores the outcomes/emotions of past experiences; that allows you to drive your car automatically without conscious thought) steps in to protect you until the perceived threat is gone. Sometimes this sabotages the positive outcomes that would come from taking action.
Procrastination usually occurs when we subscribe to the ‘pain out-ways the pleasure’ syndrome. You may tell yourself that you really want a beautifully mopped floor but then your unconscious mind will try to protect by telling you that you are tired, that you can’t find the energy to get up. In this syndrome we find ‘excuses’ (oops I mean reasons) to not take action.
However when we are passionately and happily working towards something that is aligned with our values, the unconscious mind provides motivation from the inspiration seen in the positive outcome of every action we take. So getting back to our floor, what’s more important to you? What if you said to yourself ‘I may as well do it while you I am up’ or ‘I want to get fit and exercise so I might do it dancing to my favourite dance music and loud too, I love dancing’. Would that make you feel a little difference? Perhaps even a tad more motivated?
Language is Powerful!
Let me give you another example. You have decided to start an exercise program. Perhaps it is just that your clothes are getting too tight or you ‘don’t want to be fat anymore’. These are called ‘away from’ motivations because they cause a mind image of something you are trying to get ‘away from’. If the ‘value’ of health is not a priority for you, you won’t get motivated. You will however feel bad because you keep reminding yourself of what you currently have, what you don’t want and haven’t done.
What about if you wanted to start the exercise for instance to run a marathon instead? I bet that person you see jogging at the crack of dawn in your street would become a positive motivator for you as it would bring images of you successfully running your marathon.
Your unconscious mind would then create health as a high and positive value; it would attach your positive emotions to the image that you are seeing. Suddenly you are motivated! Procrastination to partake in exercise occurs when an ‘away from’ focus is created through self-talk such as ‘I NEED to LOSE weight’. The poor old unconscious mind doesn’t hear the words that don’t have pictures such as ‘lose’ and ‘need’ and does hear the words ‘weight’ or ‘fat’ because they are easily pictures of a weighty or fat body. This burns a negative picture of your current size into your mind causing frustration and disappointed feelings” that get attached to the ‘value’ and so you now have a cycle of getting fatter and yoyo dieting.
(Ask me, I used to be a lifetime member of weight watchers and also sureslim. In fact I was 30kgs heavier than when I began ‘diets’)
This definitely won’t help you to get up at the crack of dawn to run or walk. Your unconscious mind likes to have a positive reason (or a desperate one, yes negative motivates but never permanently, but temporarily like the threat of death from illness) to achieve something if it is to create a positive mind picture and subsequently the motivation when needed. A ‘towards’ reason creates a beautiful picture of the fit, thin, healthy you running, causing you to feel excited, energised and happy. The ‘away from’ reason picture shows you being overweight or bulging out of tight clothing, causing you to feel frustrated and disappointed or any number of negative emotions such as shame, embarrassment, guilt, sadness, depression which in turn keeps the cycle alive.
‘Away from’ motivation may work for the short term and sometimes we need that shock treatment, butit’s only powerful to get you started in most cases however occasionally I’ve seen it turn into positive emotions and mind images. eg. Heart attack client goes out to get fit to recover and ‘avoid’ another heart attack and falls in love with fitness. Have you ever seen that before? That’s very encouraging but it’s sadly not often enough for most of what the everyday person procrastinates. I have yet to see it work long-term if you don’t get success that you appreciate and value and if necessary have ‘dealt with’ the old emotions (if any) then new positive images are created through ‘DOING’ the work.
Eventually when tempted by a delicious looking vanilla slice, the negative image may have you saying ‘I am fat anyway so one slice doesn’t matter’ or ‘I will start again tomorrow’ which may never come. So to overcome this, sell yourself on the value of health and make sure it is a ‘towards’ value by writing out up to 200 towards reasons. The motivation of ‘health’ is better than the ‘away from’ motivation of need to exercise to NOT be fat. There are fast techniques that change your mind image in an instant and they are easy to learn. We teach them here at IOWI and will show you an exercise YOU can start doing right away.
I bet that regardless of how many failed attempts you may have made to lose weight; if your loved one suddenly got ill and needed something from you to survive but the doctors refused to operate until you lost 25 kilograms, I have no doubt that you would suddenly get very motivated and just do it. Do you know how many times I have watched business people only do something under threat, when it is do-or-die time; like making calls or doing the paper work.
In our personal lives we do it with bills. We wait until they are due and then say we cannot afford them. The truth is, we didn’t budget or think ahead because it not only was ‘away from’, there were other ‘away from’s’ inline first. The value of paying that bill was low our list and had a very ‘away from’ motivation picture attached to it. What if the value of the power bill was in fact appreciated because without it you would live a very different life? What if instead we paid a little (like $20) towards it each week? Imagine how exciting it would be to open your bill and see a credit. So now we have learned the how, why and when procrastination occurs now it’s time to learn the what.
What can you do about it to get started? TRY THIS…
Speak to yourself OUT LOUD (if you are wondering what to say, it’s just usually the opposite of what you have been saying that’s made you procrastinate) to create positive mind images, then DO what you are procrastinating about.
Start by challenging your beliefs about whatever area of life you want better results with. Take your stubborn beliefs to someone who is currently motivated to move forward. Ask them what they are doing and take them at their word. Ask them what they say to themselves just BEFORE they get up and do that thing.
Ridding procrastination is not the time to focus on being ‘right’. Who cares if you are anyway? Believe what you must to achieve what you want to accomplish. You will still get to be right in the end. You will also get what you have been looking for and maybe along the way found something you never knew you wanted.
Wouldn’t it be better to be right and happy than to be right and miserable? Remember that if the unconscious mind’s imagery is not bright and positive, it continues to attract more of the same. This is a cycle that we unconsciously create so by doing the opposite we can create a new brighter cycle. So let me leave you with this.
Nothing that happens to us has predetermined meaning!
The ‘meaning’ we choose to apply to an event (for whatever reason) or situation is what determines whether we are happy or sad, make good decisions or bad decisions, have a good day or a bad day or feel powerful or weak. The way your life goes and the power you have depends on how you apply meaning to an event or situation. Let me repeat this: Your power lies in how you point meaning to everything in your life. There really is no reason to stay stuck. Life’s too short to allow the self-sabotage and procrastination to continue.
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